The whole point of business has always been – and will always be – acquiring sales qualified leads who can drive business reach and growth. 


A qualified lead is a business prospect in your company’s marketing funnel who has expressed interest in your products or services by giving their contact details and possibly requesting a quote or meeting with your organization. A qualified lead would also have been taken through a lead qualification process and their details would have been verified. These leads can then be passed on to your sales team for them to meet and close. This type of lead has a higher chance of closing to a customer than an ordinary lead as he/she has already expressed intent in knowing more about your offerings.


Needless to say, profitability depends on the number of qualified leads in your marketing funnel. Ever since the internet became a viable hub for businesses, it has been flooded with marketers trying to advertise their products, acquire new customers, and nurture the existing ones. The competition is stiff indeed. They are forced to find new and unique strategies to reach their goal. However, all those strategies may be useless unless they stick to the basics.


Initially, marketers need to paint a clear picture of who their customers are; before even thinking about executing a lead generation strategy. The more information they gain about their customers--such as age, gender, interests, income, and location, the easier it becomes to target them. 


Using machine learning and analytics tools, you as a marketer can execute a thorough customer analysis to determine how to attract more leads and customers. For instance, if you find that the majority of customers come through referrals, you will probably need to focus on lead generation strategies like customer referral programs. On the other hand, you can also focus on email marketing, if that worked best.


Once this is done, let’s dive deep into the three effective strategies that satisfy one question - how to qualify a lead?

Use Google AdWords to Gain Insights on Search Data

When it comes to content creation for attracting customers, keywords play a critical role. Using Google AdWords, businesses can target specific keywords - that have a high search volume - and can bring their services in front of their prospects; at the right time. The results can also be made location-specific. However, due to the competition, this strategy usually comes with a high cost per click for the targeted keywords.


That’s not all. AdWords also allows marketers to create an account, and display specific ads that drive relevant traffic to the business website.

Create Intriguing Content Using Long-Tail Keywords 

Search is getting more and more complex as well as competitive these days. In order to keep pace, you as a marketer need to create content by targeting long-tail keywords that focus on business-specific solutions or services; and can convert your readers - or in this case prospects - into customers. You can use online keyword research tools such as answerthepublic to get some ideas. For better results, you can create content focused on long-tail keywords based on the commonly asked customer queries about the services/solutions. 


Content can be of any format - a blog post, image, video, podcast, webinar, Slideshare or anything that can be searched for and consumed on the web. In just a matter of time, this approach can effectively drive high-quality traffic to the business website, which can later be converted into leads.

Interacting with the Prospects on LinkedIn

LinkedIn, as we know, is a platform where marketers find high-quality leads. It provides them the essential tools and opportunity to reach out to the prospects directly. All they need to do is build trust using their content; before sending a connection request to get in touch. Once this is done, they can talk business, or perhaps offer a demo.


The overall process is quite simple, but it requires time and dedication. It requires a regular follow-up until they (the prospects) finally convert into leads.


Now that you have understood how to qualify your leads from the lot, it is time to understand how to generate more of them so that you can achieve better closures. This is because when it comes to generating business leads, it is a relatively simple task for most organizations to generate ordinary leads. However, where they really struggle is in generating more and better-qualified ones who are more likely to get converted into customers.


So, here are six tips that will help your organization to generate more of these qualified leads.


Create attractive and high-quality content

High-quality and targeted content is of paramount importance for generating more qualified leads. And, the more content you have, the better as it keeps your leads and potential customers engaged. It is also absolutely important to identify your buyer personas and their place in the buyer’s journey before creating content. As you do more research, you will be able to unravel their pain points and generate high value tailored content that addresses these pain points and requirements.

 

You can create content in the form of blogs, research papers, guest articles, reports and even videos to attract potential customers.


Make your content visible

When people look for solutions to their requirements, they should see your content. This is done by optimizing your content and sharing it on digital platforms where it is visible to your prospects. For example, social media platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin, and even Quora are good platforms where you can promote your content and generate valuable marketing and sales leads. 


Search engine optimization (SEO) helps you in your website content being visible on search engines when someone types a search query. However, ensure that your SEO efforts are in line with the latest developments of search engine algorithms, as not complying with these algorithms may damage your page ranking. and reputation.


Leverage your existing customers

Your existing customers are your best spokespersons. A delighted customer always helps in bringing more qualified leads and customers to your organization. Hence, ask your existing customers for referrals. You can offer them incentives to refer more leads to your organization. 


At the same time, you can also interview them to find out what they liked about your product, service or brand so that you can prepare testimonials and case studies. These are valuable content assets for a lead’s comparison and evaluation stage which help them make quicker and better decisions about your solution offerings.


Nurture your leads

You may already have a solid strategy in place to convert more website visitors into leads. However, not all will be qualified leads. Hence, nurturing these unqualified leads becomes an important exercise. Nurturing your leads is done by constantly educating and engaging them so that they can do their homework and self-select your organization to contact when the time is right for them. Content assets such as emails newsletters and case studies are excellent options to nurture your leads.


Keep in mind that nurturing your leads is a continuous process as you may want to have a steady flow of qualified leads into your marketing and sales funnel so that your database never goes empty. 

 

Align your marketing and sales team goals

Aligning the goals of the marketing and sales team is necessary without which, many leads can wither away without becoming customers. Traditionally, marketing and sales teams often do not get along very well with each other. However, realizing that both teams are really working towards achieving the same revenue goals of the organization can create a productive relationship between these two teams, thereby allowing better information sharing and coordination that can help your organization achieve better conversions.


Reform your landing page and call-to-actions

You may have a great website content, but without a strong contact form and call-to-action, your page visitor will not convert into a lead. A good CTA, landing page and form play a huge role in converting a visitor into a well-qualified lead. As per Neil Patel, founder of Crazy Egg, “a strong CTA compels people to click on it”. An enticing CTA placed in an appropriate place grabs your visitors’ attention and compels them to take action.


A landing page is where you communicate to your lead the benefits of your solution in a clear and concise manner while capturing the essential details of the lead. A good contact form should neither be too short nor too long. It should have all the necessary fields that can capture the appropriate lead information as well as qualify the lead`.


These are some of the time-tested and most effective ways that are sure to help you generate more qualified leads and help you bring closer to your sales goals. 


Originally published , updated April 09 2018